Tackling Toxoplasmosis: A new animated film about the world’s most successful parasite
The Moredun Research Institute Moredun has released a short animation to help inform and educate people about Toxoplasma gondii.
The animation has been produced in collaboration with the University of São Paulo, UKRI and FAPESP, and is part of an entertaining animation series to help inform and educate people about the parasite.
Tackling Toxoplasmosis is a fun and engaging animation describing the life cycle, transmission routes and control options for a tiny parasite of huge veterinary and public health importance and it has been described as the world’s most successful parasite.
The animation was developed as part of a research project funded by BBSRC (UKRI) and FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil) looking at differences in virulence in Toxoplasma strains.
Toxoplasma gondii is widespread and can infect all warm-blooded animals, yet many people have never heard of it and do not know how it is spread. The parasite is shed in the faeces of cats and can cause abortion in sheep, leading to economic losses for farmers, and is also a public health problem as it can be transmitted to people through undercooked infected meat and contaminated water. In some parts of the world, such as South America, strains of the parasite can cause severe disease, even in healthy people.
Although it is a widespread parasite, there are ways to control and prevent infection in people and animals. Education is key, and this animation outlines the control options available for farmers to prevent infection in their livestock, and for people to avoid infection from contaminated food or water.
The life cycle and transmission routes of Toxoplasma can be quite complicated, but the animation makes it easy to follow and gets all the key points across. It is a fantastic educational resource for us to share with farmers, stakeholders, and members of the public, both in the UK and Brazil.
Created by the very talented team at Ping Creates, led by Selina Wagner, this animation, which is available in English and Portuguese, simplifies the complex life cycle of Toxoplasma and describes the different ways to prevent infection.
It also highlights the current research on Toxoplasma being undertaken by scientists at Moredun and the University of São Paulo.
Ping Creates did a really great job with this animated video. We enjoyed contributing ideas to the video and helping with the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the narration. Toxoplasmosis occurs widely in Brazil, and the video will be an incredible educational tool for different audiences (it is clear, light in tone, and thoroughly informative). We hope it will increase awareness regarding this significant disease
This animation was funded by UKRI, FAPESP and the Moredun Foundation.